Tomislav Ivisic (’03) – 7’0, C, Croatia
Lefty center with very good size and a still undeveloped frame. Still not fully developed as an athlete either, but moves well for his size and age. Has good touch and excellent footwork to score inside but he’s mostly strong hand dominant. Can face up from the low post and step out from three point range to shoot. Tends to shy away from contacts. Quality defensive presence inside at this level of competition, will need to work on his lateral quickness and his physicality. Averaged 10.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.4 blocks.
Zvonimir Ivisic (’03) – 7’0, C, Croatia
Right handed center who prefers to step out and play on the perimeter. Undeveloped frame with margin to fill up. Not much physical, tends to avoid physical competition, struggles to score with contact. Volume shooter from outside, confident release, natural range from three. Can put the ball on the floor a bit and attack the basket. Has soft touch, can hit some floaters too. Defensive mobility is average, will need to improve his footwork. Averaged 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 1.4 blocks.
Ousmane Dieng (’03) – 6’7, PG, France
Dieng had a breakout tournament in Udine, establishing himself as one of the most intriguing players there. His frame hasn’t filled up yet and it’s quite impressive for a guard. Despite his size, Dieng shows natural ball-handling, body control and change of speed to play as a point guard. His court vision is very good and he plays mostly under control, moving the ball and showing excellent passing instincts. As a scorer he relies mainly on his jump shot, which doesn’t feature a textbook form but is efficient both off the catch and off the dribble. He doesn’t deal well with contacts and doesn’t finish well around the basket so far, which brings him to settle on jumpers. In general he’ll need to improve his physicality and aggressiveness on both ends of the court. He averaged 8.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists.
Armel Traore (’03) – 6’7, SF, France
Strong and athletic wing with an impressive frame for his age. Physical and aggressive, always in attack mode on offense, keeps moving and cutting. Straight line driver, lacks great ball-handling to change direction, can go out of control when driving to the rim. Right hand dominant. His basketball IQ is still raw, takes some bad decisions and his shot selection is not ideal. He’ll need to work to improve his shooting form. Averaged 12.9 points, 5.4 rebounds.
Victor Wembanyama (’04) – 7’3, PF/C, France
Named in the All-Tournament Team. Unique prospect, by far the most awaited player in the tournament, fulfilled expectations in Udine. Incredibly tall and long but his frame is still developing. Ridiculous mobility and reactivity for his size, even though he clearly hasn’t reached his athletic ceiling yet. Has some real ball skills, showed some flashes of impressive passing instincts and post moves, soft touch from mid and short range; excellent footwork on offense for a player his size. His shot has a promising form and looks quite natural, but so far is not reliable yet and will require some work on its motion. Impressive how he was able to be effective on both ends of the floor just because of his unique physical presence. On defense his reactivity and length were ridiculous, he brought unreal intimidation in the paint and ended up easily as the top shot blocker in the tournament. Averaged 9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 5.3 blocks.
Lefteris Mantzoukas (’03) – 6’8, SF/PF, Greece
An early bloomer with quite developed frame, Mantzoukas left mixed impressions during the tournament, still averaging 15 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals for sixth-placed Greece. He’s a smart and versatile player but lacks a significant athletic profile. Has solid ball-handling for his size but lacks burst and explosiveness, being more comfortable playing off the ball. He’s has decent touch to finish but plays below the rim. His shooting form can be improved even though he’s an ok shooter off the catch.
Sotirios Oikonomopoulos (’03) – 6’3, SG, Greece
Oikonomopoulos is a guard with elite shooting ability. Smart and assertive, plays with excellent attitude and activity level. Can play both on and off the ball. Crafty slasher, creates separation for his shot with change of speed and fakes, despite not being particularly explosive. Keeps his dribble alive on the P&R and has natural pull up shot. Moves well without the ball. Quick shooting motion with consistent release. Averaged 14.4 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 12/27 (44.4%) from three.
Emanuel Sharp (’04) – 6’4, SG, Israel
Volume shooter who ended up as the top scorer in the tournament. Averaged 25 points, 6 rebounds, 1.4 steals. Strong frame but not wiry and still very undeveloped. Uses well his body to make his way to the basket and create separation, looks for physical contact. Tends to go right when attacking. Soft touch around the rim, even though lacks explosiveness as a finisher. There’s not a shot he wouldn’t take, shows no hesitation in let the ball fly at any time. Has very deep range and consistent form, more efficient off the catch but can create his own shot. So far has mainly scoring instincts and struggles to be productive in different ways.
Davide Casarin (’03) – 6’4, SG, Italy
Averaged 15.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals for third-placed Italy. A strong guard with good size and early developed body. His frame doesn’t have major potential. Casarin is a very talented player off the dribble, able to use extremely well changes of speed to beat his man and using properly ball screens to create both for himself and his teammates. He’s a wild player though, lacks some discipline on the court and forces a lot of shots. His lack of physical and athletic upside is a significant limit.
Matteo Spagnolo (’03) – 6’4, PG, Italy
Named in the All-Tournament Team. Averaged 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 3 steals. Played both guard positions in Udine and was mostly focused on scoring. Has good size for the point guard spot but lacks explosiveness and his frame doesn’t have major potential. Extremely smart and fundamentally sound, knows the game. Advanced P&R player for his age. Has great vision and is willing to move the ball. Largely depending on his jump shot to score, has very deep range and natural pull up shot.
Tautvydas Baltrusaitis (’03) – 6’8, SF, Lithuania
Big wing with highly intriguing physical profile: has great size, length and features excellent footwork for a players that tall. Has good instincts, proper sense of position, moves well without the ball. High intensity level, plays hard, crashes the boards, makes strong cuts, runs the court, moves his feet on defense. Ball skills are still raw but show some promise. Can handle a bit, but he’s highly strong hand dominant. Unorthodox shooting mechanics. Averaged 9.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals.
Paulius Murauskas (’04) – 6’8, PF, Lithuania
Murauskas is a forward with well-developed frame for his age. He doesn’t have elite explosiveness or burst but plays with great intensity and can easily make his way to the basket thanks to powerful drives, using his body to look for contact and create separation. In the low post he also relies a lot on his ability to push the defender to get close to the basket. He’s highly right hand dominant when finishing around the rim though. He’ll need to work a lot on his ability as a passer, as sometimes he just doesn’t give away the ball enough. His shot also will need some work, as right now it’s streaky at best. Averaged 12.3 points, and 7.7 rebounds.
Iaroslav Niagu (’03) – 6’11, C, Russia
Center with great size and promising frame. Quick, mobile, light on his feet. Very good full court runner. Has quick feet in tight space in the halfcourt, can score around the defender in the low post. Solid use of his pivot foot. Coordinated, catches and finishes easily in the halfcourt. Has soft touch with his strong hand. Strictly an inside scorer so far but shows some potential with his jump shot. Averaged 12.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 blocks.
Matija Belic (’03) – 6’7, PF/C, Serbia
Undersized big man with still undeveloped body, not in very good shape but has margin to improve. Strong and able to use his body to take an advantage, but he’s still extremely behind from an athletic standpoint. Below the rim player. Plays on the perimeter. Knows the game, high basketball IQ. Excellent fundamentals and ball skills. Great sense of position, he’s usually in the right spot. Lacks explosiveness but has body control to put the ball on the floor. Can finish with contact. Elite shooter with consistent and quick motion, natural range from beyond the arc. Averaged 18.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists.
Nikola Radovanovic (’03) – 6’8, SG/SF, Serbia
Radovanovic is a highly intriguing prospect with excellent size for his position. He plays with impressive motor and aggressiveness, never shying away from competition. His frame is still undeveloped and will need some major work but has lot of upside. Loves to play with the ball in his hands and always attacks hard the basket off the dribble, pushing the ball in transition right off the defensive rebound; he has solid touch around the rim and good body control. He has good vision when focused, but often tends to attack with his head down in the halfcourt and his shot selection is bad. He overtrusts his jump shot, which sometimes can find the hot streak but in general features highly inconsistent form. He ended up averaging 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals.
Sasa Ciani (’03) – 6’9, C, Slovenia
Rock-solid undersized center, was highly productive in Udine. Plays below the rim, lacks significant quickness and explosiveness. Physical, willing to use his strong body inside, makes his way into the paint and scores at the rim. Strong hand dominant and lacks great touch. Knows how to move on the P&R. His mobility is still an issue. Averaged 13.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 3 blocks.
Ruben Dominguez (’03) – 6’6, SG/SF, Spain
Named MVP in Udine after averaging 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals, while leading Spain to the first place. Smart wing with decent size, plays with good awareness and solid decision making. Shooter, his game is centred around his jump shot: he can shoot right off the catch or naturally pull up if he’s able to gain separation, has proper balance and consistent form. Decent ball-handler, but lacks burst to create his own shot. Can use a ball screen to make room for his jumper or to move the ball.
Toni Naspler (’03) – 6’4, PG/SG, Spain
Naspler is a guard with good size who is mostly comfortable playing with the ball in his hands. He loves to operate on the P&R and since he lacks elite change of speed he often needs a ball screen to beat his man. He shows nice vision and instincts coming out of the screen, being able to see the whole court and find his teammates with proper timing. He has solid touch but is not a strong finisher at the rim, prefers to hit floaters. He’s a below average shooter so far, with unorthodox and not reliable mechanics. He averaged 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 3 steals.
Juan Nunez (’04) – 6’3, PG, Spain
Named in the All-Tournament Team. Averaged 10.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.3 steals, with a key performance in the final against France. Huge personality for his age, fearless, willing to take responsibilities. Lefty scorer who is always aggressive off the dribble, good change of speed, solid ball-handler at high speed. Always attacks the rim, good touch with his strong hand, scores over the defense. Impressive step-back jumper, has deep range as a shooter. Shot selection is not always the best.
Adem Bona (’03) – 6’9, C, Turkey
Named in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 14.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4 blocks for fifth-placed Turkey, Bona had another strong showing in a FIBA tournament, the second this summer. As expectable his combination of length, athleticism and motor had a terrific impact: he’s always active and plays hard, bouncing around all over the court and making athletic plays on both ends of the floor. Compared to FIBA U18, he had some more freedom with the ball in his hands and showed some remarkable flashes particularly on the perimeter, putting it on the floor and attacking the basket with excellent footwork and coordination.
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